Good video games for bad video gamers

Alison Cunliffe

I love video games as much as the next person, but I am terrible at them. I play most games on easy just to die more than my boyfriend does on hard difficulty. In my defence though, he is a hardcore gamer and has a much healthier tolerance for losing than I do.

Some games just cater better to people with different skill levels than others. So without further ado, this is a list of my favourite games on each console for those of us who are here for a good time, not for a hard time. 

Our first two games are exclusively available for the Nintendo Switch. I am sure plenty of you own one, (since they completely sold out in Australia).

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Nintendo Switch

Ah, the favourite of 2020. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the newest instalment of one of my favourite Nintendo games, and sold extremely quickly on release. It would be blasphemous to not have it on this list. Can someone explain to me why doing chores and paying off debt is so much more fun in Animal Crossing than it is in real life? Of course, that is not all there is to running your little island. In New Horizons, you can alter terrain, travel overseas, or participate in TikTok’s infamous Animal Crossing trend – bullying of ugly residents by ‘bonking’ them with your net until they leave your island.

My favourite part of Animal Crossing will always be Blathers – the cute sleepy owl who runs your island’s museum. There is one unspoken rule of Animal Crossing – whether it be a type of fish, or butterfly, or fossil, your first must always be given to Blathers. Besides my obsession with how cute this game is, there is something for everyone. You can fish all day, visit your friends, or design an outfit. The fan base is huge and friendly, and that is just the beginning.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Nintendo switch

Breath of the Wild truly took my breath away. The detail in the terrain, creatures, and costumes are insanely beautiful, and the gameplay only enhances it. Legend of Zelda went with an extremely open world approach to this game, and it just works. You can spend a lot of time just exploring the wild, and you will love every second of it.

Now, this is not the easiest game if you want to kill every monster or play a speed run – but the beauty of the game play is you have a lot of choices. Personally, I don’t often engage enemies in fights, but am obsessed with cooking random supplies and finishing puzzles within the shrine trials. 

My boyfriend, on the other hand, is playing the extremely master difficulty expansion pack, and rejoices in being able to defeat higher level enemies. There is truly a gameplay strategy for everyone, and at the very least, it is stunning to look at.

Now, let’s move to some other consoles, shall we?

Uncharted Series – Playstation

Sadly for my PC and Xbox friends, this game is Playstation exclusive. This was my Dad’s proud contribution to the list, as I have not played Uncharted for myself, so I thought it only fitting to ask him why he recommends it. In his words ‘It is easy and tells a story. There is some shooting and some easy puzzles to solve, and it’s not hard to figure out what to do next.’

So, a good candidate for this list then.

My dad refuses to play games he considers too hard, so you can take his word for it that Uncharted is not a ridiculously difficult game. The series follows the story of a treasure hunter and his travels, and though the main series is only on Playstation, there are browser and mobile games within the franchise too.

Danganronpa – Playstation and PC

Sorry again to my Xbox friends, but rejoice all Playstation and PC players!

Danganronpa roughly translates to ‘Bullet Refutation’ in English, which will make sense later. You are stuck with fifteen other Hope’s Peak Academy students, a school originally intended to teach extremely talented, or ‘super-duper’ high schoolers. To escape, students must kill one another and get away with the crime. After a murder occurs, students are given time to investigate, and then a trial will begin. This is where the title actually makes sense – during class trials, the game you will play the most of is the ‘non-stop debate’ in which you use ‘truth bullets’ (the evidence from your investigation) to dispute or agree with your fellow classmates’ statements.

Game play in the first game is a bit clunky, and the story lines for season one and the first game are exactly the same. I would recommend playing or watching the first instalment before moving on to the second game, however. If you want to watch and play the entire series from start to finish, you can choose between chronological or release order. I would recommend release order if you don’t want to uncover some mysteries before you watch or play a season, but chronological is fun if you don’t mind putting the pieces together yourself before the big reveal. Ultimately, it is up to you.

The third game is less of a piece of the puzzle, and commonly referred to as being the best of the three games, so if you want to only play the third game and nothing else, I will not be judging you, but the series is pretty fun to completely delve into.

I know I have rambled – which is not surprising given how many parts there are to the series – so I will get to the point as to why exactly Danganronpa is in this list. The difficulty setting are really cool in this game. There are two settings, one for the logic difficulty (how hard riddles in the game will be) and one for the action difficulty (how hard the minigames during class trials will be). Difficulties range between gentle, kind and mean, and if you are like me and enjoy a good riddle but are awful with video game controls, choosing mean for logic and kind or gentle for action is a really fun combo.

Dragon Age Inquisition – Playstation, Xbox and PC

Dragon Age is my favourite game series of all time. If you do not still have a Playstation 3 and want to play the first two games, you may have to play them on Xbox or PC.

Due to it being the most recent and, in my opinion, the best of the three, I will more specifically be talking about Dragon Age Inquisition. In Dragon Age Inquisition, you work to restore peace across the fictional world of Thedas, and battle plenty of foes along the way. Difficulty settings range from easy to nightmare, and the third game even displays the recommended level for finishing particular main story quests. This is super helpful if you want to be overpowered for certain quests, or if you still want a bit of a challenging by doing the quest at a lower recommended level.

Inquisition, however, is a pretty long game, and can be hard to get finished if you don’t want to play an average of up to 200 hours. If this is the case, but the series still seems fun to you, I recommend playing Dragon Age 2. It is not the most popular game in the series, but the story line is still engaging and the game play takes a lot less time, around 40 hours if you complete plenty of side quests as well as the main story. This play time can of course be longer or shorter dependant on how much of the game you decide to actually complete.

Neir Automata – Playstation, Xbox and PC

Neir Automata can join the other beautiful games on this list. Alongside Inquisition and Zelda, Neir Automata has amazing graphics and scenery. There is something for everyone in this game, and it is extremely story heavy. You play alongside human made androids in a war against the alien machines that now rule Earth. I don’t want to spoil any major plot twists, but there is a lot to find out, and beautiful fight scenes along the way.

About those fight scenes – they can be really hard, but they can also be stupidly easy. I am the first to admit that I am terrible at any game involving guns, but Neir Automata has many solutions, ranging from difficulty settings to auto aiming and even auto shooting. If you want this game to play out almost like a movie, you can. You don’t have to of course, and the game mechanics are really fun, but sometimes it’s cool to not have to aim when you’re really, really bad at it. The game is only about 10 hours per playthrough, but it is heavily recommended you play through the game more than once to unlock all 26 endings (many of which don’t make you replay the whole game, since you can often load from your last save – such as if you choose to make your own base self-destruct.) For the most part, players recommend playing this game through three times, but if you don’t care about unlocking every ending, you have a pretty short game on your hands!

Castle Crashers – Playstation, Xbox and PC

This game is adorable, and that is an understatement. It is an indie game and came out 12 years ago, so some of the jokes are a little outdated, but it is a really fun game and is even more fun on multiplayer. You can also buy little extensions that include a new character and weapon for only a couple of dollars, and I will admit guilt to buying one when I bought the game. I just really wanted to shoot rainbows and be pink, okay? (P.S. some of these characters, including the pink knight, come with the remastered edition.)

You can buy and unlock up to 31 characters to play the game as total, each with different features and outfits. Most characters are unlockable, so when you first start the game you will probably only have 4 to 6 to choose from based on which console you have and what DLCs you have bought. You are a knight, and some ladies from the kingdom are captured. In your journey to get them back you come across various areas and enemies to beat up. It is a pretty straightforward premise, and as I mentioned, some of the jokes are a little bit dated or questionable, but some have maintained their humour well. None of these things are what make this game fun, but rather that it is one of my favourite multiplayer online games to play so far. You can play with friends or random others online, or play from the same console. The game is really light hearted, and when you get stuck on a harder level, there are plenty of ways to build up experience points and increase your level without too much frustration.

The Sims 4 – Playstation, Xbox and PC

I could not let myself finish this list without mentioning The Sims. This game is ridiculously popular, and the community is huge. Now, technically The Sims cannot be easy nor hard, as it relies solely on how and what you choose to play. Plenty of community challenges exist for the game, so the difficulty can be up to you. There is no one way to play, and that is the beauty in it. Personally, I like to challenge myself to build certain house types or stick to a random colour scheme. Others might play the 100 babies challenge, enjoy expansion pack story lines such as Strangerville and much much more. There is a lot to do, and even better, the game has been going on sale frequently on Steam due to the anticipated release of The Sims 5. Now, by all means wait for number 5 if you like, but I will be here enjoying my half price copy of the Vampires expansion pack.

In all seriousness though, some of the expansion packs are really cool. Seasons adds, well, seasons to the game. That includes new clothes and new gameplay. Forget to put a thermostat in your house and you might be in for trouble when winter comes. There is also the aforementioned Strangerville, which allows you to discover the mysteries of the town, and the up and coming Eco Lifestyle pack that was announced in early May. This pack will let you change the world around you based on your choices for your sims and builds in the town, and I cannot wait.

So, with plenty of games to choose from both on and off of this list, there has to be a game for you – no matter how bad you are at video games.


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